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The Word of God has much to say about the roles of women and men in a marriage relationship.  Let’s begin at the beginning. We read in Genesis 2:21-24, “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”  We see here that the Lord made woman from the man and then brought him back to man.  Now they are together to be one person.  This union is so sacred that we read in Mark 10:9, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

Ephesians chapter 5 teaches us that the marriage unit is a type, or symbol, of Christ and His church.   Ephesians 5:22-28says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”  Since man is the head of the wife, he has the duty of loving his wife the same way that Christ loved the church.  That is a sacrificial, selfless love.  In return, the wife is to be in subjection to her husband as unto the Lord.  When the husband loves his wife as he should, the wife will find it very easy to submit herself to him.

The scriptures also address the physical duties of the husband and wife.  We read in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”  The scripture instructs us concerning the physical aspects of marriage because it is an important issue.  The husband and wife should live for each other, seeking to take care of the spiritual and physical needs of each other.  After all, in marriage we are ‘one flesh’ and should treat our spouses as we would treat ourselves.

As one who has been married for nearly 43 years, I can safely say that the secret to a happy and successful marriage is to put the Lord first in all things.  When we turn our marriages over to the Lord, He will maintain the relationship so that it will be very fulfilling to both, and it will honor the Lord who established marriage as a type of Him and His church.  We read the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:2, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”  (148.2)